Morning Report: Foreclosures continue to fall 1/12/16

Markets are flat this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are up.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose from 94.8 to 95.2 last month. We see big positive numbers on plans to increase employment and capital expenditures. Earnings trends are down, however. Note that confidence is still depressed however.

Job openings continue remain at 16 year highs, according to the JOLTs jobs report.

The IBD / TIPP economic optimism index inched up as well last month

Junk bond spreads are widening as troubles continue in the energy patch. According to one prognosticator, the current risk premium for high yield debt is implying a 44% chance of a recession next year. Note the Fed seemed to be pretty sanguine about HY in the FOMC minutes.

China’s economic slowdown is having repercussions all over the global economy. The US is probably the most insulated, but it is wreaking havoc in South America and Asia.

There were 33,000 completed foreclosures in November, down from 41,000 last year, according to CoreLogic. The foreclosure rate of 1.2% is back to late 2007 levels.

11 Responses

  1. In a meeting, but I can still Frist.

    The battle between the Empire and the Bunny Alliance continues.

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  2. Interesting read:

    “Hello from the other side: When 2016 reporters swapped beats
    01/12/16 07:06 AM—Updated 01/12/16 10:00 AM
    By Benjy Sarlin and Alex Seitz-Wald

    To start the year, MSNBC.com tried something different: We assigned our reporter who covers Republican presidential candidates to follow the Democrats and our Democratic beat reporter to follow the Republicans. Here’s what they learned after a week reporting on the other side across Iowa and New Hampshire.”

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/hello-the-other-side-when-2016-reporters-swapped-beats

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    • That was a good read, thanks. I thought the most interesting part was the reporters’ takes on the candidates “from the other side” after having spent months hearing the opponents’ viewpoints of them.

      I was a little surprised that they were surprised at how different the Democratic and Republican voters’ concerns were.

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    • jnc:

      I thought this was notable (although, like Mich, it was surprising to me that he found it surprising):

      I was caught off guard by how specific and personal Democratic voters’ issues tended to be. One woman told me she had lost a job because she had to take care of a sick relative and wanted paid family leave. Another woman told me her insurance stopped covering a certain medication that had grown too expensive and she liked how Clinton and Sanders talked about lowering drug prices. One man told me his wages were stagnant at his hotel job and he was looking for policies to increase them.

      I imagine that John “Ask not what your country can do for you” Kennedy is rolling over in his grave at what his party has become.

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    • I think the son of Joe Kennedy understood the difference between rhetoric and reality and was well aware of how to buy off an interest group.

      The most telling part to me was the difference in press access. Sanders shutting out the press was genuinely surprising.

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      • Yes–that also surprised me.

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      • jnc:

        I think the son of Joe Kennedy understood the difference between rhetoric and reality and was well aware of how to buy off an interest group.

        The point was that the reality of the Democratic party in 2015 is a far cry from the reality of the D party in 1961. I think that Kennedy’s “Ask not…” was descriptive of an actual, felt reality by the D base to a much greater degree in 1961 than it is today in 2015. Today “What have you done for me lately” would be a far more accurate descriptor in general, and especially for the D base as evidence by that MSNBC reporter you linked to.

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  3. Mark:

    An interesting story on what happened in Dubuque, Iowa under the same policies that the new AAFH “rules” are intended to strengthen and exacerbate.

    http://www.limitedgovernment.org/publications/pubs/studies/ps-15-6.pdf

    Most current holders of the Section 8 vouchers in Dubuque were either elderly or disabled, and most had been on Section 8 for a fairly long period of time, five years or more. Originally there was little reason to expect the makeup of the voucher applicants to change. In Dubuque, as in many areas of Iowa, there is an overweighting of the population toward older residents. Therefore, city leaders thought that by prioritizing current applicants with the point system, they would be helping their local low-income people to remain in the community, remain close to family and friends who were their support system, and be in stable living situations.

    Unfortunately, most of those from outside of Iowa during 2009-2011 who were applying for Section 8 vouchers were from “nearby” greater Chicago, Illinois, or Milwaukee or Madison, Wisconsin. The distance from Dubuque to Chicago is almost 200 miles, and the drive time is four to five hours depending on traffic and weather.

    HUD determined that low-income people living four hours away should be served as part of the Dubuque city expected and anticipated market segment for affordable housing, that Section 8 voucher applications must be accepted no matter where the individual is from, and that no priority could be given to local residents – most of whom were either elderly or disabled – in filling affordable housing needs.

    The detailed analysis of these out-of-state applicants by HUD revealed that most of them were also African American. Even though Dubuque stopped using the point system when the unintended consequence was brought to their attention, HUD determined that the City of Dubuque was de facto discriminating against African Americans and other minority citizens. As a result of this discrimination – which the elected officials of the City of Dubuque did not agree was the intent – HUD forced them to sign a 30-some page Voluntary Compliance Agreement. Even with no admission of intent to discriminate, the elected officials of Dubuque agreed to extensive, intrusive, and highly controlled oversight of the Section 8 and other housing support and assistance programs for the next five years.

    So Dubuque, which has a 4% black population, is being measured and held to a “regional” standard defined by the demographics of Chicago, which has a black population of 33%, in order to force Dubuque to import poor people from Chicago, to the disadvantage of poor people in Iowa. And this happened even before Obama’s new “rules” have been implemented.

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